Bunbury remains less popular than South West neighbours Busselton and Margaret River, according to a list compiled annually by popular travel website Wotif.com.
The city was seventh for the third straight year, beating Mandurah, Kalgoorlie and Geraldton, which round out the top 10 – but once again proved to be less popular than Busselton (5th) and Margaret River (4th).
The list comes as no surprise to City of Bunbury events, tourism and promotions team leader, Dee Smith, who re-affirmed her belief that the city should be working with, rather than competing against, its neighbours.
“Margaret River as a tourism region has been earmarked as one the top priorities for Tourism WA and I don’t believe Bunbury should be competing with that market,” Ms Smith said.
“We need to embrace the fact that we are within a 100km radius of a very popular tourism destination and focus on working together with Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River and Augusta to ensure the entire South West is considered a premier destination for visitors.”
Ms Smith recently took part in a workshop aimed at achieving just that, and is optimistic about its outcome.
“The sessions certainly brought to light the need for the industry to work together with our surrounding shires and other regions.
“At this stage we are working with the Geographe Bay Tourism Association and the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association to run a Visitor Centre staff exchange program so our tourism staff can learn more about each other’s operations and regional product.“We are focusing on things such as packaging, pricing and cooperative marketing campaigns but we have more work to do to build our partnerships in the region.”